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Kilby Conceives of the Integrated Circuit (July 1958)


In July 1958 Jack Kilby of Texas Instruments in Dallas, Texas, conceived of the integrated circuit. On September 12, 1958 he constructed the first integrated working prototype using germanium mesa p-n-p transistor slices he had etched to form transistor, capacitor, and resistor elements. Using fine gold "flying-wires" he connected the separate elements into an oscillator circuit. One week later he demonstrated an amplifier.

"In his patent application of February 6, 1959, Kilby described his new device as 'a body of semiconductor material . . . wherein all the components of the electronic circuit are completely integrated' ” (Wikipedia article on Integrated circuit, accessed 03-03-2012).

T.I. announced Kilby's "solid circuit" concept in March 1959 and introduced its first commercial device in March 1960, the Type 502 Binary Flip-Flop priced at $450 each. However the flying-wire interconnections were not a practical production technique. In October 1961, T.I. introduced the Series 51 DCTL "fully-integrated circuit" family using deposited-metal planar technology invented by Jean Hoerni at Fairchild Semiconductor.